“The aroma from the steak whetted the diner’s appetite.”

What is the best definition of whet?

Check your answer!

Choice A - To eviscerate in order to soften
Choice B - To sharpen or make more acute
Choice C - To overwhelm through sheer force
Choice D - To evaporate or make less apparent


Whet (verb) – to sharpen (as in a blade); or, to stimulate or make more acute (as in an appetite or desire)

Whet (noun) – a thing that stimulates appetite or desire (such as an appetizer)

GRE pro tips:

In its original use, the verb whet referred to the practice of sharpening tools on what was called a “whetstone.” Likewise today, one usage of whet means to sharpen literally. But the term can also be used more broadly and figuratively: to whet certain desires means to sharpen those desires, or, in other words, to stimulate or make more acute. For instance, you’ve likely heard the phrase whet your appetite, in reference to stoking the desire for food. Similarly, a journalist might whet your curiosity by providing you just enough information to make you think.

Example sentences:

“One of the principal goals of television advertising is to whet the curiosity of consumers.”

“There is nothing like the open seas to whet your appetite for adventure.”